Public Inquiries

Members of 5 Essex Court provide expert advice and advocacy in this niche specialism. They have appeared in most of the significant public inquiries of the last decade. Members of chambers have consistently been ranked as leaders in this field in Chambers and Partners and in the Legal 500. They have additionally provided training and delivered lectures, and have written extensively, in relation to this specialist area of practice.

The public inquiries in which members of chambers have been instructed include:

  • The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (two members of Chambers acting on behalf of the Commissioner of Police)
  • The Harold Shipman Inquiry (on behalf of a government department)
  • The Marchioness Inquiries (as Counsel to the Inquiries)
  • The Bichard Inquiry (four members of Chambers acting on behalf of the Chief Constables of Humberside and Cambridgeshire)
  • The Hutton Inquiry (three members of Chambers acting on behalf of the family of Dr Kelly)
  • The Zahid Mubarek Inquiry (for the Commissioner of Police)
  • The de Menezes Inquest (members of Chambers acting for the Commissioner of Police and individual firearms officers)
  • The Barrow-in-Furness Legionnaires Inquiry (as Counsel to the Inquiry)
  • The Scott Review (for senior civil servants)
  • The Inquests into the deaths of the Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed (two members of Chambers acting for the Secret Intelligence Service)
  • The Billy Wright Inquiry (six members of Chambers acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office, the Northern Ireland Prison Service, former and serving members of the Northern Ireland Prison Service and an ex-Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary)
  • The Rosemary Nelson Inquiry (for the Northern Ireland Office and the Forensic Science Service)
  • The Baha Mousa Inquiry (for serving and former soldiers)
  • The Inquests into the 7/7 Bombings (for the Commissioner of Police and for the Commissioner of the City of London Police)
  • The Al –Sweady Inquiry (Counsel to the Inquiry and Counsel for the MOD)
  • The Leveson Inquiry (Junior Counsel to the Inquiry and for a senior member of the Metropolitan Police Service)
  • The Azelle Rodney Inquiry (Counsel to the Inquiry, Leading and Junior Counsel for the Commissioner of Police & Counsel for a Firearms Officer)

 5 Essex Court provides a comprehensive service in this practice area – members provide: general training and assistance to public authorities and organisations (on issues such as avoiding the need for public inquiries; learning lessons from past inquiries; compliance and auditing); witness and organisational preparation for inquiries that have been instituted (including assistance with issues such as disclosure); advocacy in the course of an inquiry; challenges to the decisions of inquiries; and assistance in the aftermath of a public inquiry in relation to the implementation of recommendations and ensuring organisational learning.